Hyundai’s Drive-Thru Outdoor Museum Celebrates Latinx Artists

Auto brand partnered with L.A. art organizations to curate the free experience during Hispanic Heritage Month

hyundai latinx museum
The brand produced a "road trip" through South American and Latin American landscapes tied to the artists' heritage. Clark Studio
Headshot of Ian Zelaya

As drive-thru consumer events become an experiential marketing norm, Hyundai recently created its own in Los Angeles to spotlight multigenerational Latinx artists.

For Hispanic Heritage Month, the auto brand partnered with Gabriela Ortega, chief curator of the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) and nonprofit Art of Elysium (AoE), to create nine installations for a drivable experience.

The event, titled Driven: A Latinx Artist Celebration presented by Hyundai, ran Oct. 1-4 at the Hollywood Palladium Theater. The event was free for consumers, requiring an online RSVP to get tickets for specific time slots.

“Driven was created as a safe and immersive environment that explores what drives Latinx artists to create, and to showcase the influence their cultural legacy has on the city of Los Angeles,” said Angela Zepeda, CMO at Hyundai Motor America, in a statement. “Through our partnership with AoE and MOLAA, we were able to tap into their extensive network to showcase talented artist’s work within the exhibit.”

Hyundai showcased custom wrapped vehicles designed by artists.Clark Studio

Hyundai worked with experiential agencies Advantage and AKJohnston to produce the event in about six weeks. Austin K. Johnston, founder and CEO of AKJohnston, said the experience’s overall design was themed around a road trip through Latin American and South American landscapes amplified by art.

“2020 has outlined a need for cultural relevance and purpose behind activations. Our goal was to create a road trip where you’d travel through cultural regions where the artists were born and raised,” Johnston said. “It was up to us to design a path that offered emotional touch points without physical contact.”

The driving path featured Hyundai-branded frames displaying the work of artists including Honduran painter Delmer Mejía, Chicana artist Judithe Hernández and Argentinian duo Chiachio & Giannone. To flesh out the road trip aesthetic, the event teams brought in mulch, trees, foliage and cacti, and decor pieces including a fountain overflowing with marigolds.

Attendees entered the event through an LED audio tunnel.Clark Studio

While the event was mainly visual, the brand also set the scene with an audio activation. At the beginning of the experience, guests could drive through an LED tunnel broadcasting an FM playlist curated by Raul Campos, music host of Los Angeles-based public radio station KCRW.

Additionally, Hyundai displayed its Palisade, Sonata and Elantra models with custom vehicle wraps designed by partner artists.

Street signs displayed the names of each artist.Clark Studio

To adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols during the weeks of buildout and days of the event, Johnston said staff was required to take daily health surveys, temperature checks and rapid Covid-19 tests before entering the venue. Social distancing and sanitation protocols were also in place for staff, and every worker was provided with masks and PPE.

Johnston said implementing these safety protocols added more than $50,000 to his team’s event budget. Experiential marketers now have to consider Covid-19 costs if they want to produce a pandemic-proof IRL event.

Driven is an extension of Hyundai’s Hispanic Heritage Month programs. The brand partnered with the 43rd Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) for a five-year virtual leadership initiative, and hosted a workshop at MOLAA’s Latino Comics Virtual Expo in September.


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ian.zelaya@adweek.com Ian Zelaya is an Adweek reporter covering how brands engage with consumers in the modern world, ranging from experiential marketing and social media to email marketing and customer experience.
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